I usually fish The South Platte by myself as friends are either working or engaged in other more fruitful activities.
Two months ago, I started a friendship near Trumbull that has been growing on each subsequent visit.
His name is Duke and he is a full time resident of this tiny hamlet near Deckers. We play catch on my lunch break as he delivers his favorite stick and lays it at the foot of my waders. Duke seems to hope that I can throw his slobbery stick fifty yards but chases it with abandon when this aging arm can only launch it twenty. Time and again he goes…with the difficult fish rarely cooperating, this surely is the highlight of both of our days.
On Wednesday, he found me twice. The first had me just about to slip into the river when he laid at my feet with yet another stick. We played toss and fetch for five minutes until it was time for the trout hunter to get into the water. Ten yards into the river, I heard this whimpering from the bank and there he was prone on all fours wondering if this friendship was really going to pan out.
Duke inadvertently dropped his stick into the stream and next thing I knew, he was in the stream…stick in mouth as if the game was destined to resume. Dejectedly, he retreated to his house two hundred yards to the east as I began euro nymphing again.
An hour later, I climbed a steep incline and made my way to the car.
One minute later, Duke sprinted up the hill near his home and was ready for round two.
Unfortunately, the snow from the previous night made finding a suitable stick impossible.
Just as it seemed that game time would have to wait for another day, this creative canine digs through the snow and extracts this old, beat up, white frisbee.
Game on. The Luna bar and iced tea can wait.
Oh, the friends one can make on the river.